What County are the Aran Islands In

The Aran Islands are 3 islands off the west coast of Ireland, and looking at a map, you might not be able to tell which county they belong to. Peering at a map, you’ll discover that they are off the coast of two Irish counties – Galway and Mayo. So which county do they belong to?

Are the Aran Islands in Clare or Galway?

What county are the Aran islands in – Galway

Ok let’s answer the big question. Which county are the Aran Islands in? While they are off the coast of Clare and Galway, they are part of county Galway.

It can be hard to tell which county they are from, especially seeing as Doolin Ferries in County Clare take people over and back but they are part of Galway.

What county are the Aran islands in map

what county are the aran islands in - galway

What is the closest town to the Aran Islands? 

It completely depends on which Island you are talking about but let’s take a look:

If you are talking about Inisheer, Doolin is by far the closest town. Inis Oirr (Inisheer) is only 8km from Doolin Pier while it is 48km from Galway City. I can completely understand why people think the islands are part of county Clare!

What are the 3 Aran Islands?

There are three Aran Islands:

  • Inishmore /  Inis Mór
  • Inishmaan / Inis Meáin
  • Inisheer / Inis Oírr

If you are wondering which Island you should visit – Which Aran Island to visit

Inis Mor is by far the most “touristy” and the most visited Island. When your ferry docks on the island, you’ll arrive into Kilronan, a village with pubs, restaurants and lots of little tourist shops. It is home to around 800 people but sees hundreds go on and off the island each day in the tourist season.

Inis Meain is said to be the least touristy of the three and more “traditional” in its values. One of the reasons for this is because it’s the least accessible.

Inis Oirr (Inisheer) is the smallest of the islands. In 2018 it was reported that 281 lived on the Island.

So in terms of which you visit, it depends on the experience you want to have. Inis Mor is a gorgeous Island with so many great activities – ruins, beaches, wild life observation points. However, with that comes a more “touristy” vibe. I do not think you will be disappointed by visiting any of the Islands.

While I’ve visited one so far (Inishmore) I’ve been told that Inis Mor is the

Are the Aran Islands Worth Visiting?

Honestly if you ask me, there are not many places in Ireland that are not worth visiting. The Aran Islands are absolutely worth a visit!

These three ruggedly beautiful islands—Inishmore, Inishmaan, and Inisheer— are like something from an old Irish movie. Because they are off the mainland, it seems like the traditions there have been more preserved than in the rest of Ireland.

Why wouldnt you want to visit?! Ancient stone forts perched on cliff edges, lush green landscapes stretching as far as the eye can see, and a sense of tranquility that appears you the moment you step foot off the ferry.

But perhaps the biggest draw of all is the opportunity to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of modern life and reconnect with nature in its purest form. With no cars allowed on the islands and a laid-back pace of life that’s worlds away from the mainland, the Aran Islands offer a welcome retreat from the daily grind. Whether you’re enjoying a fresh seafood dinner overlooking the Atlantic, admiring the breathtaking views from the top of Dun Aonghasa—the island’s most iconic fort—or simply peddling a bike along the windswept beaches, you’ll find yourself falling under the islands’ spell in no time. I actually have been considering moving over ever since my last visit!

My videos on the Aran Islands

Do they speak Irish on the Aran Islands?

Yes they do. As one of the few remaining Gaeltacht areas in Ireland, the Aran Islands proudly uphold the Irish language as an important part of their cultural heritage. Visitors will often hear locals conversing in Irish (as Gaeilge), so it gives visitors the unique opportunity to immerse themselves in the Irish language. That being said, most people will also speak English so don’t worry about not being able to communicate with anyone while you are visiting!

Additionally, the islands host a Gaeltacht school each year, attracting young people from across the country to enhance their language skills and deepen their connection to Irish culture amidst the islands’ breathtaking scenery. Visiting the Gaeltacht each summer is a big part of the summer for a lot of Irish children.

What county are the Aran Islands in Ireland – Conclusion

In conclusion, the Aran Islands are in County Galway. And remember, a journey to the Aran Islands is not just a trip; it’s an unforgettable experience. I have been to Inis Mor twice now and I’m planning on going to the other two Islands soon.

From the rugged landscapes and ancient ruins to the friendly inhabitants and rich Gaelic traditions, the islands offer a glimpse into Ireland’s past. Whether you’re drawn by the car-free exploration, seeking peace in nature, or eager to immerse yourself in a culture steeped in history, the Aran Islands are one to visit.



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